Used tacoma, tundra or ridgeline?

I’ve got a '93 Toyota Pickup (the pre-Tacoma). Love the 4x4 extra-cab with the (almost) never die 22RE engine (230,000 miles). Unfortunately, with climate warming happening, and the recent purchase of a T@B trailer (used of course), I need something with A/C and a larger engine for pulling the long grades of the northern rockies.
I’m looking to spend $10-15,000 and don’t need a “full-time” truck. I am thinking maybe I should go with a 8-10 year old Ridgeline instead of a same age Tacoma. Alternately, given very similar gas mileage, should I consider a Tundra? Given my major concern, mechanical reliability, how concerned should I be regarding vehicles with 150,000 or 200,000 miles?
Thanks for your help, headonastick

I would go with a Ridgeline since you don’t need a “full time” truck. For that budget you should be able to get a 2007 with close to 100k miles, plenty of life left in it. It will be more versatile than a Tacoma/Tundra and should be very reliable.

If you’re going to be towing, the weight of the trailer has to determine your choice. Especially in the mountains. The Tundra with the V8 and a tow package is the best choice of those you listed. Although the Ridgeline will tow up to 5,000 pounds with the tow kit.

Whatever you find, since you’re looking at used vehicles be sure you get it checked out thoroughly including making sure it has a properly installed tow kit of a sufficient “class” (hitch class). You don’t want to lose your camper in the middle of the highway.

What’s the trailer weigh?

Trailer weighs about 1600#. What about concerns of buying a high mileage vehicle?

“What about concerns of buying a high mileage vehicle?”

People usually dump high-mileage vehicles when they’ve lost confidence in them (read: more frequent breakdowns). Always have at least $1000 in your “hooptie account.”

Don’t buy a vehicle with 150k-200k miles. A $15k budget is perfectly adequate to buy a Ridgeline with around 100k miles. And a 1600 lb trailer will be no problem for it to tow.

If any of those vehicles you’re considering, have a timing belt, you’d best find out if they are due or overdue

And I agree about the mileage. 150K or 200K sounds kind of high

If you are considering a Tundra, you should think about a Silverado or F150. Both outstanding trucks. Be sure the Tundras you look at don’t have the frame rust problem found on Tundras. I believe the problem resulted in a recall for years 2000-2003.

I like the Ridgeline if it’s up to the towing. You’re more likely to learn that on trailer sites. Otherwise, with the Ridgeline you get a very comfortable car, complete with locking trunk and a small bed for messy stuff. It’s got a place for everything. Take you to work all week, to the dump on Saturday, and shopping on Sunday (what did you think I’d say - church?) The others are not as comfortable as cars, though they’ll do if you need them to. In recent years trucks have become much quieter and ride better. Older trucks like you’d be looking at don’t have those enhancements. Except the Ridgeline, which is more car than truck.

With that light a load the Ridgeline would probably do just fine, It’s mostly Honda Pilot underneath with some changes to the rear suspension and structure. Rated for up to 5,000lbs although 3,500lbs or a little less is a safer bet.

I agree, the Ridgeline would be fine for a 1600lb trailer.

Jt, I suspect you meant to reference the Tacoma. That was the model with the instant-rot frames. The Taundra was fine. Excellent point, however.

I thought the frame rust was the T100’s.

the Tacoma trucks also suffer from frame rust at least for 2001-2004 models, may be more.

Tacoma was the model with the ready-rot frames.

For the record, the late '70s Toyota pickups (pre-Tacoma) suffered from the same malady. They’d solved the problem by the late '80s (still pre-Tacoma). My '79 pickup’s frame rotted through, my '89’s frame remained in excellent shape for its life of… I guess it was some 18 years or so before my daughter got hit in it. I thought Toyota had solved the problem for good, but unfortunately I guess I was wrong.


Jt was correct

The tundra is also a rust bucket

For our collective reading enjoyment . . .

More proof

Hmmmmmm … I stand corrected. Live & learn. I wonder of the affected frames all came from the same supplier.

Dana was the supplier of the rusty Tacoma frames:

I wonder of they made the Tundra frames too.

Yup, Tundras too: